Clinical cognition and biomedical informatics: Issues of patient safety

Vimla L. Patel, Leanne M. Currie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Recent developments in biomedical informatics research have afforded possibilities for great advances in health care delivery. These exciting opportunities also present a number of challenges to the implementation and integration of technologies in the workplace. As in most domains, there is a gulf between technologic artifacts and end users, which compromises the culture of safety in the workplace. Because clinical practice is a human endeavor, there is a need for bridging disciplines to enable clinicians to benefit from rapid technologic advances. This, in turn, necessitates a broadening of disciplinary boundaries to consider cognitive and social factors related to the design and use of technology. The authors argue for a place of prominence for cognitive science in understanding nursing factors associated with patient safety. Cognitive science provides a framework for the analysis and modeling of complex human performance. Studies of clinical cognition can meaningfully inform and shape design, development and assessment of information systems. Furthermore, they have a decisive impact on whether information technology has a positive influence on human performance and are especially important in understanding and promoting safe practices. These issues are discussed in the context of clinical informatics with a focus on nursing practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)869-885
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical cognition
  • Decision-making
  • Informatics
  • Nursing
  • Patient safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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